Tall Bills to Fill

By Dennis McCafferty Print this article Print

Document and content management often involves the transformation of paper files into a digital format. But it also encompasses areas such as security, disaster recovery, collaboration, e-discovery and printer management.

Tall Bills to Fill

Malvern, Pa.-based Siemens Healthcare has staked claim to a thriving industry niche by performing a key task for more than 200 hospitals nationwide: getting bills to patients.

Over the years, the wealth of varied e-formats that hospitals used to get patient-care and billing details to Siemens created challenges. Some arrived in flat files, others as XML documents and still more in some other format. Worse yet, each document had to be processed separately, since the hard copy of a bill had to be printed using each individual hospital’s logo, address, phone number and other information.

This was time-consuming and costly: Separate print runs meant separate mailings, and Siemens was often missing out on getting large bulk-rate postage discounts.

“We needed a system that would allow us to run all these patient-billing document files from the different hospitals at once,” says Corey Ruff, the software engineer who oversees the billing system for Siemens Healthcare in the United States.

A solution from ISIS Papyrus America has enabled the company to do just that. Siemens can take all the patient billing information from disparate file formats and process it at the same time. It deploys a WYSIWYG tool to design billing templates; create customized statements for clients with logos (with appropriate colors); and provide credit-card payment information. Previously, Siemens would mail up to 2,000 bills at a time. Now, it can send out as many as 56,000, and the bulk-mailing discount can amount to 10 cents a bill. Given that the company mails 2 million bills a month, the savings passed along to its customers are significant. Using Papyrus has also enhanced Siemens’ ability to take the billing information to third-party vendors that oversee e-payments from patients, eliminating the need for postal service. “With the concept of paper fading from society,” Ruff says, “we’re now in a great position to move totally toward e-billing and e-payments.” Clearly, there are many technology solutions that meet the document management challenge. The key is to find the one that’s right for your organization.

This article was originally published on 2009-09-04
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.
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